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Another Club Joins the Berbatov Chase

Looks like there is going to be a transfer war between Manchester United and Barcelona over the signature of Berbatov. Earlier it looked that Berbatov was heading for Manchester when Sir Alex said that he was almost sure that Berbatov will sign for Man Utd by the end of this month. It is reported that united have made a bid of around $20 million for the Bulgarian forward. Though Tottenham have rejected the bid and also reported Man Utd and Liverpool to FA for pursuing both there forwards, it looks as if they are going to lose both there forwards.

Barcelona seems to be a new club that has joined the race for Berbatov. After not progressing in there negotiations with Arsenal over Adebayor, it seems they are going to make a bid of around $24 million for Berbatov. One advantage they have is that, they can also offer Samuel Eto to Tottenham as a bait for Berbatov. But I highly doubt that Eto will want to come to Barcelona. But what will Berbatov do, he already snubbed United once, will he do it again ? If Berbatov moves to Barcelona, then another player that Man Utd can pursue is Samuel Eto. With Barcelona no longer wanting the forward, he would be an easy target. Though I am a bit amazed to see that no clubs such as AC Milan, Liverpool etc are going for Eto who is available and is also a proven goal scorer at the top level.

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Manchester United without Carlos Queiroz

Ever since Scolari left Portugal to sign for Chelsea, Carlos Queiroz is being linked with the vacant position. And why not, he has been a great coach at United and that speaks for itself. In the latest development, it was being reported that he is close to agreeing a $1.5m four year deal with Portugal.

As a United fan, I would be disappointed to see him leave which i am almost sure is going to happen. But i wouldn’t blame him, who wouldn’t want to manage there country one day. That type of job doesn’t come often. For United, it will be a big loss, or we can say, a bad summer for united as the Cristiano Ronaldo drama continues with Madrid reporting there interest and Ronaldo saying nothing to deny it. Considering he was a big mentor to Ronaldo and one of the main reason behind his deadly form, a face which even Ronaldo agrees. So his departure will once again bring the Ronaldo saga to the fore front. The fact that Ferguson welcomed him back after his stint with Real Madrid, and Ferguson also saying that he is the ideal man to replace him after he retires, tells you about his importance to the club. Even Ryan Giggs mentions in his autobiography

He’d train us, prepare us for games, organise the team and decide the things we needed to work on. Some said he had too much influence, but I don’t agree. He impressed me from the start."

He was one of the main reasons behind United’s impressive defending and there tactical approach to big games. Not only was he a master tactician, he had a great eye of discovering talent. He was the man responsible for scouting Nani and Anderson, two impressive young talents. And most important, he had an amazing language skills as he could speak 5 different languages and a good network, as well as being a father-figure to Ronaldo.

Though the club hasn’t said anything official about this but I guess Ferguson must be looking for a new no. 2. One of the men being linked with the post is the great “Eric Cantona”. Though what will happen only time will tell. But it is a bad news for the club and it might also be for “Ronaldo”.

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Title dream over for Arsenal after loss to Manchester United

Man Utd 2 – 1 Arsenal

(Ronaldo (pen) , Hargreaves)     (Adebayor)

 

The title dream for Arsenal is now virtually over after they lost 1 – 2 to Manchester United at Old Trafford. Before the game, they were six points behind Man Utd and needed to win to stay in the title unit but they couldn’t get the win even after dominating the game for long periods.

Hargreaves celebrate The game was very open in the first half with chances coming for both the sides. Arsenal started the game with a great determination and tempo to stay in the title race. They needed a win and they started attacking from the opening minutes. With Fabregas operating in midfield and Hleb playing just behind Adebayor, it was causing a lot of trouble for United defenders and soon chances soon started coming for Arsenal. The first chance fell to Fabregas who shot narrowly over. After that Eboue delivered a beautiful cross from the right and resulting Adebayor shot was blocked by Rio Ferdinand. After that a volley from Gilberto from a corner was blocked by his own team mate Song. Adebayor was guilty of missing several chances from the edge of box. It was hard to imagine that Arsenal hadn’t scored till now. Hleb was causing a lot of trouble for the United Defenders and he raced through the defence to set up Adebayor from the 12 yards but Adebayor shot tamely into the hands of Van Der Sar. United also had some good chances to score. Patrice Evra delivered a beautiful ball for Ronaldo who crossed for Rooney but his close range shot was diverted by Jens Lehmann. If Adebayor was guilty of missing several chances, then Lehmann was responsible for preventing United from scoring with some beautiful saves. The second chance came for Rooney when a mistake from Song allowed Rooney to break through but his shot was diverted wide by Lehmann’s foot.

Arsenal didn’t have to wait long for the goal as they got it in the beginning of the second half. Van Persie delivered a cross from the left which beat both the goal keeper and the defenders and was bundled in by Adebayor. The goal was a bit controversial as it appeared that Adebayor has used his left forearm to bundle the ball but it Arsenal did deserve a bit of luck for there play. But they were not in the lead for long as the ‘hand’ came back but to United’s advantage. A ridiculous handball by Gallas won a penalty for United. Ronaldo stepped up and converted the penalty, was asked to do it again for encroachment, and he sent in into the bottom corner to score is 38th goal of the campaign. Both teams decided to go for the win as Wenger introduced Walcott and United sent on Tevez and Anderson. Tevez almost scored a goal immediately as his sizzling shot beat Lehmann but was also inches wide of post. Arsenal had a great chance when Clichy’s cross from the left took a deflection and deflected to the post by Van Der Sar. Then came the free kick which ended Arsenal’s dream. Gilberto fouled Evra 25 yards out and the resulting free kick was brilliantly taken by Hargreaves who sent the ball over the wall and into the far corner of the net while Lehmann remained unmoved. Arsenal introduced Bendtner and he had to good chances but they were saved by Van Der Sar and United held on for a famous victory that may secure them another title.

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Manchester United, Chelsea Win, Arsenal Draw

Another round of Premiership matches has passed by and now the Premiership is back to being a three horse race. A draw for Arsenal along with wins for Chelsea and Man Utd means EPL is heading for tight finish with just 10 games remaining. Chelsea had received a lot of negative coverage in the media following there Carling Cup final loss to Spurs and an immediate response was needed to restore there confidence. Avram Grant who had taken a swipe at the media before the game and he made six changes to the side which lost to spurs. They were top form and in spite of getting Lampard red carded, ended up winning 4 – 0. They started well and they should have been a goal up inside two minutes but Anelka’s goal was incorrectly ruled offside. That didn’t deter Chelsea and soon they took the lead through Lampard penalty after Kalou was fouled by Anton Ferdinand. Three minutes later, Joe Cole’s added a second and the game was over in 22nd minutes when Ballack volleyed in a third after a clever pass from Lampard.

Lampard was sent off in the 36th minute after an altercation with Boa Morte in which he appeared to push the West Ham winger. The West Ham also managed to test Peter Cech on a few occasions after there numerical advantage through Mark Noble. Carlton Cole had a shot cleared of the line by Terry but a goal by Ashley Cole completed an emphatic win which puts them back in the title race and makes it more interesting.

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